TWO firefighters will represent the island at a ceremony in New York marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Two officers from the IoM Fire and Rescue Service will join the tribute to firefighters who lost their lives in the 2001 World Trade Centre tragedy.
Danny Dooley and Keith Moore are taking time out during privately-funded trips to America to attend the special service of commemoration. Their presence will further strengthen the bond that has developed between Manx firefighters and their colleagues in New York over recent years.
Island officers have attended the majority of the US memorial services since the disaster, which claimed the lives of 343 firefighters and paramedics. Our firefighters are also staunch supporters of the 9/11 Fund, a charity established by the New York City Fire Department to honour their fallen colleagues and enhance community safety through volunteer work in countries across the world.
However, Danny and Keith have faced a number of logistical challenges over their plans to wear the IoM Fire and Rescue Service’s ‘Ceremonial Colour Party’ - the traditional uniform of a lamb’s wool tunic with military-style marching boots, white helmets, belt and axe.
Fortunately, local courier firm FCX Worldwide Express Ltd stepped in to help, and managing director John Campbell and general manager Stephen Kimber successfully negotiated the myriad of customs rules, regulations and paperwork on behalf of the firefighters.
Mr Kimber said: ‘The amount of paperwork involved in transporting these uniforms is astronomical. The level of detail required is extremely high, down to the thread counts and origin of the wool used.
‘The main issue was obviously around the ceremonial axe, but with the help of our global service partners in the US we’ve been able to secure the smooth transfer of the uniforms.’
Chief fire officer Brian Draper said: ‘Local officers have raised thousands for the 9/11 Fund and paid out of their own pockets to attend a number of memorial services since the tragedy occurred, so it was important to us to maintain a presence for the 10th anniversary.
Firefighter Keith Moore added: ‘I am sure it will be a very moving and emotional occasion. ‘There is a real sense of camaraderie among firefighters who are essentially doing the same job all over the world.
‘Danny and I will be proud to wear the Isle of Man uniform in New York and join colleagues from many other countries in paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.’